"American exceptionalism" is the scholarly term for the common perception that there is something different about American life, stemming from the origins of the United States and its subsequent evolution, and marking it off from the experience of other developed nations. There is a long, rich, and varied argument about this perception, its reality, and its component elements. In Is America Different?, major scholars from the realms of history, politics, economics, and sociology return to the question in the light of changes in the last thirty years and debate an answer which is appropriate to our time. Politics, economics, religion, culture, education, and public policy receive particular attention in this debate, while a major introductory essay by Seymour Martin Lipset and a final integrating chapter by Byron E. Shafer isolate common themes and recurring disputes. Providing valuable insights into the dilemma of American exceptionalism, this book will interest scholars and students of American studies, American government, American history, politics, and sociology.
`Richard Hofstadter once remarked: "It has been our fate as a nation not to have ideologies but to be one." In this stimulating volume, Shafer and his colleagues make a significant contribution to explaining that ideology today - and the distinctive American traits which comprise it.'
`Greeley and Wildavsky's contributions along with those of Seymour Martin Lipset and Daniel Bell - two authors whose contribution to the exceptionalism debate over the past four decades has been seminal - ensures a place for the book on the reading list of any student of the subject.'
David McKay, Times Higher Education Supplement
'American exceptionalism may then lie in being a model that fits the rest of the world much more than Europe ever could. As the bipolar world unfreezes, this model commands attention and this valuable book is an excellent beginning.'
David Morgan, University of Liverpool, American Politics Review, Number 28 July 1992
`Is America Different? is a standing invitation to other, parallel conferences in the humanities, arts, and sciences ... Shafer's volume sets an intellectual and scholarly standard for discussion and debate.'
Preface; Seymour Martin Lipset: Overview: American exceptionalism reaffirmed; Daniel Bell: Politics: The 'Hegelian Secret': Civil society and American exceptionalism; Peter Temin: Economics: 'Free land and federalism: American economic exceptionalism; Andrew M. Greeley: Religion: American exceptionalism: The religious phenomenon; Aaron Wildavsky: Culture: Resolved, that individualism and egalitarianism be made compatible in America: Political-cultural roots of
exceptionalism; Martin Trow: Education: American Higher Education: 'Exceptional' or just different?; Richard Rose: Public policy: Is American public policy exceptional?; Byron E. Shafer: Afterword:
What is the Amerian way? Four themes in search of their next incarnation
Number Of Pages: 282
Published: 15th August 1991
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.4
Weight (kg): 0.52